Shadow of the Lions
From the publisher: "It has been almost 10 years since Matthias graduated from the elite Blackburne School, where his roommate and best friend, Fritz, fled into the woods, never to be heard from again, in the middle of their senior year. Fritz vanished just after an argument over Matthias' breaking of the school's honor code, and Matthias has long been haunted by the idea that his betrayal led to his friend's disappearance. After hitting the fast lane in New York as a successful novelist, he is offered the opportunity to return to Blackburne as an English teacher. He partners with a curmudgeonly local retired cop and tries to solve the case, dealing with his own place in the privileged world of Blackburne." Annie from The Bookshelf Thomasville pairs this with Prep and The Secret History.
“My lungs began to burn as I started sprinting. It wasn’t just that I wanted to catch Fritz. I had the distinct feeling that I was chasing him, that I had to catch up with him, before something caught up with me.”
How long must we pay for the crimes of our youth? That is just one question Christopher Swann explores in this compulsively readable debut, a literary thriller set in the elite—and sometimes dark—environs of Blackburne, a prep school in Virginia. When Matthias Glass’s best friend, Fritz, vanishes without a trace in the middle of an argument during their senior year, Matthias tries to move on with his life, only to realize that until he discovers what happened to his missing friend, he will be stuck in the past, guilty, responsible, alone.
Almost ten years after Fritz’s disappearance, Matthias gets his chance. Offered a job teaching English at Blackburne, he gets swiftly drawn into the mystery. In the shadowy woods of his alma mater, he stumbles into a web of surveillance, dangerous lies, and buried secrets—and discovers the troubled underbelly of a school where the future had once always seemed bright.
A sharp tale full of false leads and surprise turns, Shadow of the Lions is also wise and moving. Christopher Swann has given us a gripping debut about friendship, redemption, and what it means to lay the past to rest.